Second-term Coun. Bob Masse won’t be able to make Maple Ridge council’s twice-monthly workshops for the next while so that he can deal with the mess from having the temporary homeless shelter across the alley from his chiropractic clinic.
Masse, who excused himself from council discussions on the shelter to avoid conflict of interest, said he has to be at his business on Monday mornings to deal with the aftermath at the temporary shelter.
On the morning of Monday, Oct. 26, he arrived at work to find litter and a needle left over from someone who had been sleeping in the doorway.
Then recently, staff at the clinic found a man unconscious near the building.
Masse said it’s appropriate that, as a businessman, he be there, instead of at council, in order to take care of his business.
It’s natural, for anyone to be upset about having a shelter nearby, and to be concerned about his business. But the shelter is only to be open six months.
In the meantime, Masse is playing hookey from his $42,000 a year job as city councillor, ostensibly to clean up the mess from shelter clients. But it looks more like a silent protest about the shelter location.
Masse could easily delegate someone to be clean up his premises each morning. It’s not that time consuming a task.
By not showing up for the Monday workshops, Masse is making it tough on council – and taxpayers – to get a quorum. He may not be happy about having the shelter next door, but that shouldn’t stop him from attending council meetings.
All councillors, unless they have a legitimate excuse, need to get to the six or so meetings they have each month, on time, no matter their gripes, so council can conduct the city’s business.
And the mayor needs to see that all councillors get that message.
– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News